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Increase Sales of Media Center PCs

According to a recent study by Current Analysis, sales of Microsoft Windows Media Center PC's have skyrocketed since July 9th: during the week ended August 20th, the study claims, Media Center PC's accounted for 43 percent of all desktop computers sold in the US retail market, based on data from a sampling of US retailers. Current Analysis attributes the rapid increase in Media Center sales largely to a decline in the platform's price: for the first time ever, its average retail price has dropped below $900. The company also credits Microsoft's promotional efforts for the platform at select retailers. Among other findings of the study: 71 percent of the Media Centers sold in the week ended August 20th did not have a TV tuner; 53 percent of the Media Centers sold that week utilized AMD's Athlon 64 processor; and 67 percent of Media Centers sold that week were equipped with a 250GB hard drive. "The desktop market is in dire need of anything that will differentiate it from laptops, which have been stealing sales over the last year," Current Analysis's senior director of research, Matt Sargent, said in a prepared statement. "Media Center, with its focus on performance-centric tasks, such as manipulating pictures, video and audio content, is one key differentiator. The continued success of the desktop form factor is reliant upon the success of Media Center--this is the reason we are seeing leading manufacturers such as HP rapidly shift their desktop offerings to Media Center." A number of video content providers are betting on the Media Center's success, including news service Reuters, which offers a multiscreen interactive TV news channel on the platform, and Akimbo, which next month will begin offering its niche VOD service on the platform.

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